Western Digital's WD TV HD Media Player
is an interesting contraption. Rather than being a self-sufficient media server, it simply acts as a bridge between your hard drive / USB key and your television. PopPhoto
was able to corral a unit for review, and overall, they appreciated the media liaison's abilities. The actual connection was "pretty much plug 'n play," though the omission of an HDMI cable in the box was a bit of a bummer. The unit did a satisfactory job of parsing the information on the HDD and finding photos, songs and video clips, and the on-screen result was fantastic. Not everything was peachy, though -- for instance, large files introduced lag when rotating / changing, and DRM-laced material wouldn't play back at all. Furthermore, it chose to truncate iPod song names, which could obviously be annoying to some. All in all, the WD TV showed some promise but feel short in a few key areas, so you'd better give it some serious thought before plunking down $130.